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Battle of Abu Klea, 17 January 1885

Battle of Abu Klea, 17 January 1885


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Battle of Abu Klea, 17 January 1885

Battle of Abu Klea, 17 January 1885. Oil on canvas signed and dated lower left: W B Wollen 1896, by William Barns Wollen (1857-1936), 1896. In a race against time to relieve General Gordon, besieged at Khartoum, a relief column under General Sir Garnet Wolseley set out from Cairo in October 1884. Realising that his infantry, travelling in boats up the Nile, might not reach Khartoum in time to save Gordon, Wolseley detached a Desert Column to travel overland by a faster but more dangerous route. On 17 Jan 1885 this Column, commanded by General Herbert Stewart, was attacked by the Mahdists at Abu Klea. The resulting battle was later described by Winston Churchill as the most savage and bloody action ever fought in the Soudan by British troops. The British square broke and was closed only after desperate hand-to-hand fighting. The British suffered 168 casualties, the Mahdists about 1100. The Column finally reached Khartoum on 28 January, two days after the town had fallen. Date: 1885

Media ID 14389803

© The National Army Museum / Mary Evans Picture Library

1885 Dated Dervish Forces Lower Signed Sudan Sudanese


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